Actor Robert DeNiro comes along and makes a stupid joke about the Republican Presidential candidates’ wives and Newt Gingrich wants the President to personally apologize.

With all due respects to the Hatfields and the McCoys, the hillbilly families who carried on a famous 30-year long feud, this fight between progressives and conservatives about which side is the more misogynistic is a bit like who stole whose pig first.

I spent hours on the Internet researching Bill Maher trying to determine whether he was a bigger misogynist than Rush Limbaugh is because that’s how I am. I like to be fair and I don’t accept anyone else’s word on anything.

So when Sarah Palin goes on and on about how progressives didn’t say anything when Bill Maher attacked her and how President Obama ought to give Maher’s campaign contribution back because of it I decided I needed to check it out for myself.

Then I realized something. I don’t care.

Yes, Bill Maher is a misogynist. I know that. He knows that. Everyone knows that. I also know he’s not really a liberal.

That’s not the point.

We can argue from here to eternity about comparisons between the two but the fact of the matter is that conservative women, and I’m addressing women on purpose, are never going to accept any argument that says there is no comparison. I’ll make it again, Limbaugh is a political leader and Maher is (a not that funny) comedian, but it really doesn’t matter. This is not what we should be fighting about.

What really matters is that 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot to death because he was a Black kid walking down the street at the wrong time and the alleged murderer may never be charged because Florida has a “stand your ground law”, which allows people to claim self-defense if they “feel threatened.” The state also has a law that allows people to carry concealed weapons despite continued evidence that handguns serve no useful purpose.

What matters is 130,000 low-income women will lose cancer screenings, contraceptives and basic health care because of Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) decision to implement a new law that excludes Planned Parenthood from Texas’s Medicaid Health Program.

What matters is that the US Supreme Court will be considering whether to strike down the Affordable Care Act, which provides for free mammograms, colonoscopies, vaccinations and health care screenings. An act that will prevent insurance companies from charging women more for health care coverage, from excluding clients for pre-existing conditions and from establishing lifetime maximums on how much they will pay when a patient becomes ill.

What matters is that that Voter ID laws are being used to disenfranchise minorities, students, the elderly and the poor.

What matters is that the Violence against Women Act, which has never been a contentious issue before, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee without a single Republican vote because of new provisions having to do with Native American jurisdiction and protections that extend to immigrant women and same sex couples.

What matters is that he Supreme Court may strike down affirmative action, which has most benefited white women since it was enacted, because a white woman who scored a mere 1100 on her SAT believes she was unfairly discriminated against by a Texas university because she is a white woman.

If you can sit back and watch these things happen without saying a word in opposition while arguing about who called whom an offensive name then I pity you and I fear for our country. There ought to be some things that are so awful that dealing with them crosses party lines. If you want to argue about misogyny, there are plenty of new and proposed policies across these 50 states that are prime examples.

Can’t we just agree that they’re both crude and should be chastised and move on to the more important issues? The more important issue between the two of them is whether either can affect policy. That is up to the marketplace to decide and the marketplace is deciding.

We will never reach consensus on the important issues if we are forever arguing about who insulted whom first and whether the other party reacted appropriately. No offense to men, but I’m particularly appealing to women as we tend to think of them as the more reasonable class, even as I recognize that men should be offended by boorish behavior, too.

After conservative women deal with all of the real issues that are offensive to women, I’ll start worrying about the insults. The rest are just words.


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